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2011 will be a big year for IT change and growth, here is a look at a few predictions for how the IT industry will change.

2011 will be a big year for IT change and growth, especially as IT budgets are back on the rise – Gartner has even predicted that spending, specifically on IT, will increase by 60% (per employee). Here is a look at a few predictions on how the IT industry will change and grow over the next year:

A new hybrid desktop world is emerging, where users interact with multiple sessions (or “screens”). The primary screen for most users is still their local rich desktop that resides at their physical workstation, but more and more that’s being supplemented with a form of a virtual desktop. These can be hosted in the data center on Terminal Services, directly on a hypervisor, or on the client through type-1 or 2 hypervisors. In addition, multiple models for application delivery have emerged (i.e. application virtualization and streaming), which also cannot be effectively managed with legacy product sets. With all these new forms of desktop “screens”, hosting centers and application delivery mechanisms coming together, IT is facing major management challenges. Organizations need to look at a more strategic desktop management platform to help streamline the oversight of their desktops and also increase the automation functionality used in making updates and/or changes to this part of their environment. Most current models do not support this type of management. Some of the major technology providers, like Microsoft and Citrix provide multiple desktop and application delivery products, yet they do not currently provide a unified way of managing these related, yet disparate models. Now imagine trying to manage a multi-vendor delivery environment? The need for a unified management solution becomes crystal clear.

With Windows XP support ending at the end of this year, the need for a central management solution will also be enhanced by a predicted jump in the adoption rate for Windows 7 in 2011. During the Windows 7 migration, IT managers will face significant challenges when dealing with the reconfiguration of user settings, as with most updates of this kind. However, there is a solution to make this and future migrations easier. Separating a user’s desktop environment from the underlying operating system and hardware is one way to create an infrastructure that is more adaptable to change. This type of dynamic desktop environment allows IT to centrally manage changes like migrations or wide-spread updates without disrupting the access that employees need to their applications, data and printers, etc, and allowing users to retain their personal settings.

Security will also be extremely important in 2011, especially in the hybrid environments discussed above. Once the environment becomes centrally managed from a single console, security is simplified as it enables consistent security across the entire infrastructure. When considering security, the dynamic desktop environment should also employ a context aware approach. This is another area we expect to see growth continue in 2011. With this functionally, IT can determine which rights and limitations apply to a particular user based on their location or even time of day, and apply those rights to applications, data, printing and personal settings. As a result, IT can ensure that users get only the services they need, when they need them and also create rules to ensure certain sensitive applications, like financial databases, aren’t accessible from unsecure login points.

The last trend we see coming to light in 2011 is an increased demand for solutions that improve automation across infrastructures. This will be a critical feature in ensuring IT sees faster return on investment from all of its technology investments. After unifying and managing each desktop and application delivery platform, the end-user experience and

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The story “Dice: US IT hiring set to rise in 2011,” has been clarified to indicate that results cited were from two separate surveys. It was not clear from information provided by the company that the results were from two surveys. The first, second, fourth, seventh and 11th paragraphs have been clarified to indicate which results were cited. The paragraphs now read, in order:

IDG News Service — The story “Dice: US IT hiring set to rise in 2011,” has been clarified to indicate that results cited were from two separate surveys. It was not clear from information provided by the company that the results were from two surveys. The first, second, fourth, seventh and 11th paragraphs have been clarified to indicate which results were cited. The paragraphs now read, in order:

First:

Six in 10 hiring managers and technology recruiters expect to do more hiring in the first half of 2011 than in the previous six months, according to the latest Dice.com report on IT hiring plans.

Second:

Dice surveys human resource managers and recruiters of technology professionals across the U.S. every six months, and its parent company Dice Holdings also conducts surveys, the most recent of which indicates “slow gradual recovery in the labor market,” said Scot Melland, chairman, president and CEO of Dice Holdings, which operates the Dice.com IT and engineering jobs and recruiting services website. Nearly half of the almost 850 respondents in the most recent Dice.com survey say they expect to increase hiring by at least 10 percent in the first half of 2011, with another third expecting increases of 11 percent to 20 percent, and 15 percent forecasting hiring 21 percent to 30 percent more technology workers.

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Older generations learned tech. The younger generation lives it. Organizations that want to succeed need the skills of both.

InfoWorld — IT pros who grew up in the Baby Boom are dinosaurs who just don’t get it. Generation Y is full of Facebook-happy slackers with an exaggerated sense of entitlement. But beyond these broad generalizations lie some real differences between the generations of geeks who do tech for a living, from Boomers to Generations X, Y, and the Millennials.

“Today’s generation was born into a world where technology is about interaction, whether it’s playing video games or using social media,” says Larry Johnson, age 62, co-author with daughter Meagan (age 40) of “Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters — Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work” (Amacom, 2010). “They spent hours at it, the way I spent hours watching ‘Rin Tin Tin.’ So their brains are structured to interact with technology in an entirely different way.”

[ Looking to get the most out of your IT investments, see InfoWorld’s “20 more IT mistakes to avoid” and “16 ways IT can do less with less” | Find out which of InfoWorld’s IT personality types best fits your tech temperament. ]

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Hiring for IT jobs continues on the upswing in the U.S. and Canada as recessionary gloom gives way to cautious optimism, according to various recent polls of employers, who cite networking, security, virtualization and database skills as among the most sought-after.

IDG News Service — Hiring for IT jobs continues on the upswing in the U.S. and Canada as recessionary gloom gives way to cautious optimism, according to various recent polls of employers, who cite networking, security, virtualization and database skills as among the most sought-after.

“Overall, employer confidence is improving,” said Tom Silver, senior vice president, North America, at Dice Holdings, which operates Dice.com, a technology and engineering careers website. “We hear that as we speak to our customers every day.”

The most recent edition of The Dice Report, which heard from 600 respondents across the U.S. who hire or recruit technology professionals, found that 71 percent expect to add more employees in the second half of the year than they did in the first. More than half of that 71 percent expect to hire 10 or more new IT staff members. Likewise, CDW’s IT Monitor has had similar findings in its surveys across the U.S. and in some areas of Canada.

The IT Monitor recently found that 37 percent of IT decision makers at large companies expect to hire more IT staff in the rest of the year, which is up 11 percentage points from a year ago — the size of the increase was “a much faster jump than I would have expected to see,” said Matt Troka, CDW vice president of product and partner management and acting CMO.

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Some CIOs always seem to be plush with funds and have great IT Budgets. This article looks at some critical factors which influence IT Budgets.

Year on year most CIOs are facing a downward pressure on their IT spends. IT surveys in last year and year before have shown that IT spends either remained the same or increased only marginally. Even the marginal increase mainly is attributed to increasing man power costs and costs of maintenance. However some CIOs always seem to be plush with funds and have great IT Budgets. Most others who do not fall in this category attribute it to organisation’s culture (IT savy), or great boards, amazing sponsors and many other things – other than the CIOs ability to obtain the budgets. However obtaining Great IT Budgets is a skill. This article presents a few principles on how to get approvals for great budgets. (Here we take into consideration only budgets approved during normal operations of the company. In special cases such during Fund Raising, IPO, M&A – getting budgets is a different ball game).

I do not like to oversimplify things. However two important principles which lead to great IT budgets are great projects and great selling.
Great Projects

Ask any CIO and he would have at least 3 to 4 large IT projects running in parallel (and possibly on miserably low budgets). The primary reason for the low budgets is that most projects which are selected and presented to the board (or committee etc.) don’t fit the requirements of strategic projects. If you look at the IT project classification grid – where does most of your IT Budget go? Most CIOs spenGrid2d maximum amount of budgets on “support” projects (mainly because these are critical for sustaining present operations), and on “factory” projects – projects which improve efficiencies. While these two types of projects are important – these will continually face a downward pressure on budgets as these are seen as ‘necessary evil’ rather than value adding activities. Great projects are the ones which fall in the category of “Turn around” and “Strategic”. These projects hold a promise of improvement in revenue – top line and bottom lines and becoming a great differentiator spiralling companies growth.

Indentifying Strategic Projects involves number of techniques – including innovation techniques such as Systematic Inventive Thinking (which I am great admirer of), brain storming, Deep Diving, strategic workshops, etc. I will dwell into some of these topics in some of my other posts. However one thing is sure that strategic projects can rarely be identified by looking at what competition is doing.

For any CIO, it is essential to first assess where his projects lie in the above strategic grid. Once he is sure that he has a great new project which is a strategic or a turnaround project, it’s time to move on to the next step – selling the project.
Great Selling
Most CIOs / CTOs require the approval of some committee, board, or sometimes a person for their IT Budgets. It is not enough to have a great project (or line up of projects) to obtain budgets. Many times the most promising projects are shelved because lack of budgets. What the CIOs generally ignore is that however great the idea – it needs to be sold. Here I give four simple rules by which you can sell your project effectively to your board.

1. TALK BUSINESS: Start with how the project is going to improve revenues and efficiencies. Present NUMBERS. Do not go through the usual rant of business requirements, approach, specifications approach etc. No one is interested in these. Talk MONEY, talk about CUSTOMER, talk DIFFERNTIATION. Do not talk specifications.

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A Harris Interactive survey found that IT workers see an improving economy — and an opportunity to start looking for a better job.

Cross posted from Computerworld

Computerworld — It may be matter of debate whether the IT job market is improving.

Certainly, for Eli Lilly and Co.’s (LLY) IT workers who are facing a layoff, the state of the job market is clear. The pharmaceutical company last week said it plans to cut 340 IT jobs on top of 140 positions cut earlier this year.

Eli Lilly employs some 1,250 IT workers in the U.S. and said the IT cuts are part of an overall restructuring of more than 5,000 workers nationwide, a company spokesman said, confirming a report in the Indianapolis Star , hometown newspaper in the city where Eli Lilly is based.

Despite the woes in the Eli Lilly IT operation, national IT hiring indexes have been showing fluttering month-to-month increases , and a new survey conducted by Harris (HRS) Interactive found that confidence among tech workers in the economy is on the rise.

Harris surveyed 4,367 employed tech workers, including 241 in IT operations, in the second quarter of 2010 and found that 38% of the IT workers believe the economy is getting stronger, compared to 32% in the first quarter.

The survey, dubbed the IT Employee Confidence Index, was conducted by Harris on behalf of Technisource Inc., a national staffing and recruiting firm.

The breakout data from the survey could portent trouble for IT managers and companies now relying on fewer IT employees.

For example, the survey results provides evidence that many IT workers may already be preparing to look for new jobs over the next year.

Harris said that 61% of IT workers earning between $35,000 and $50,000 a year are "likely" to start looking for a new job over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 27% of IT workers now making between $50,000 and $75,000 annually and 36% of those whose salaries exceed $75,000 are "likely" to begin a job search.

"In some areas, salaries were cut or certainly salary increases were suspended," said Sean Ebner, a regional vice president at Technisource. And, he added, "as cuts were made in IT, the remaining staff was asked to do significantly more without additional compensation. It really did create some pent-up animosity."

Ebner said the survey found more interest in seeking new jobs than ever before.

The willingness to look for new jobs doesn’t yet mean the job will be there. For instance, only 27% of IT workers earning between $35,000 and $50,000 indicated that they expect more jobs will be available to them.

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IDG News Service – Despite fears caused by the European debt crisis, spending on technology products and services is set to continue growing around the world, although the pace of growth in Europe overall will be lower, Forrester Research said in a report released Tuesday.

U.S. IT goods and services spending will jump 9.9% in 2010 to $564 billion, compared to 7.8% growth worldwide to $1.58 trillion, Forrester said.

Canada will experience the highest IT spending growth this year with a 16.2% rise, according to Forrester. IT spending in Latin America is set to grow 15.4%, followed by Asia-Pacific with 11%. Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa will see a 10.5% uptick.

But IT spending in Western and Central Europe is set to drop by 0.7% due to the debt crisis and the weak euro.

The US 2010 forecast represents a 1.5% increase over one Forrester gave in April, while the global growth rate remained roughly the same as the previous forecast of 7.7%.

Growth is being spurred partly by the fact that the U.S., and to a lesser extent, other nations, are entering an innovation cycle marked by adoption of new technologies, Forrester said.

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Will job prospects for U.S. IT professionals fare better or worse for the rest of 2010? It’s hard to tell from the latest economic and employment data being released by IT career experts.

Network World — Will job prospects for U.S. IT professionals fare better or worse for the rest of 2010? It’s hard to tell from the latest economic and employment data being released by IT career experts.

Reports issued in the first week of June provide conflicting information about IT hiring, compensation and outsourcing trends. On the plus side, these reports say IT hiring will increase during the second half of 2010, and CIOs are more optimistic about their budgets and staffing levels than they were a year ago. However, IT salaries and benefits are still being squeezed from all sides, and it’s difficult to tell which IT skills are most in demand on a month-to-month basis.

“There’s more volatility in the market than at any point in time since we started tracking IT pay data in 1999,” says David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners, a consulting firm.

As evidence of the volatility, Foote points to the May 2010 U.S. Department of Labor National Employment Report, which showed a net loss of 100 IT-related jobs in May, following a gain of 8,800 jobs in April. Foote has been tracking ups and downs in employment in five key job categories – IT services, computer systems design, data processing, computer/peripheral equipment, and communications equipment – for the past six months.

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Tags: IT professionals, IT career, IT hiring, CIOs, IT salaries, IT skills, IT pay, IT services

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After years of penny pinching and putting off key software and hardware implementations, IT executives now say they’re ready to start hiring again.

It was the worst of times these past three, four years and IT workers suffered as much as more as most. While companies across all industries were busy pink-slipping millions of workers, shuttering facilities and abandoning all non-essentially IT projects, it was the networking, software and security specialists who were out of work and largely out of luck.

But as CIO Update found, those days appear to be over as the vast majority of some 1,400 CIOs surveyed say they’re adding headcount and are feeling far more optimistic about their company’s future than they have in years.

According to survey by headhunter Robert Half International, 64 percent of CIOs blamed understaffing in their company’s IT department for impairing their ability to implement innovative or emerging technologies.

To turn things around and build out computing environments in the cloud or to update ancient installed hardware and software platforms, CIOs will have to not only begin hiring more networking and cloud-computing specialists, but pay them handsomely to keep competitors from luring them away.

It’s not the exactly 1999 again, but CIOs are starting to see some blue sky on the horizon and that means good things for IT workers across the board.

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Tags: IT Jobs, IT Hiring, IT departments, IT Budgets, IT Workers, IT Talent, IT departments, CIO, IT leaders

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